Accidents Caused by Reckless Driving in North Carolina

Reckless businessman driving during rush

If you were injured in a reckless driving car accident in North Carolina, contact the law firm of Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, today to discuss your case in a free claim review. You could be eligible to pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more from the at-fault party.

Our experienced attorneys understand how challenging it can be to deal with the insurance claims process while recovering from serious injuries. We are prepared to handle every aspect of your case and aggressively pursue fair financial recovery on your behalf, so you can focus on getting your life back on track.

Contact us today for a free, no-risk consultation if you have been harmed by someone driving aggressively.

What Is Considered Reckless Driving in NC?

In North Carolina, reckless driving involves carelessly operating a motor vehicle and disregarding the safety of others. Reckless driving is a broadly defined term that includes negligent driving behaviors, such as:

  • Tailgating, or following other cars too closely
  • Making unsafe lane changes and failing to check blind spots
  • Driving illegally on the shoulder of a road or highway
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Passing other drivers in prohibited areas
  • Racing
  • Engaging in road rage and aggressive driving
  • Failing to abide by traffic signals and signs, including running a red light or stop sign
  • Driving in an erratic, improper manner
  • Driving while distracted, such as texting while driving
  • Driving while drunk or intoxicated

Drivers who operate their vehicles in a reckless manner may do so for various reasons, but the consequences for other motorists can be severe.

North Carolina Reckless Driving Laws

North Carolina law (Section 20-140) specifically prohibits reckless driving. Reckless driving is classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic violation. The possible penalties for a reckless driving conviction include:

  • First offenders could face up to $1,000 in fines and a maximum of 30 days in jail.
  • Repeat offenders could face higher fines and up to 60 days in jail.
  • Offenders face possible license suspension or revocation.

A reckless driving charge is a serious offense in North Carolina. In addition to facing criminal penalties, someone driving recklessly can be held liable for the losses victims suffer if they cause a car accident. A reckless driving accident victim can file a civil lawsuit against them in court. The victim’s personal injury claim is entirely separate from any criminal reckless driving charges or traffic violations the reckless driver may face. The civil case could be successful even if the reckless driver is acquitted or never even receives a traffic ticket.

How Reckless Driving Causes Crashes

Disregarding the rules of the road can result in tragedy. Reckless drivers are more likely to cause car crashes because they are not considering the safety of the other motorists they are sharing the road with.

Reckless driving is widespread in this country. According to the Insurance Information Institute and data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving contributes to 56 percent of deadly crashes. Speeding was also the number one driving behavior that contributed to fatal crashes in one recent year, while driving under the influence was the second-leading contributor.

Injuries Caused by Reckless Driving Car Accidents

Reckless drivers have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries. If someone driving carelessly or recklessly hits you, the resulting injuries could completely alter the course of your life.

Some common injuries caused by reckless driving accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Joint damage
  • Back injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Burn injuries
  • Deep cuts, scrapes, and lacerations

Liability in Reckless Driving Accidents

North Carolina is a “fault” auto insurance state. Under North Carolina’s fault-based system, victims of car accidents have the right to bring an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the accident.

However, to bring a successful injury claim or lawsuit, reckless driving accident victims must be able to prove liability. If a reckless driver injured you, you’ll need to demonstrate that the driver who hit you was negligent in some way. For example, if the driver failed to yield the right-of-way, that could be considered negligence.

You will also need to show how the driver’s negligence (in this scenario, their failure to yield the right-of-way) directly contributed to the accident and your injuries. Finally, you need to demonstrate to the insurance company or court that you suffered compensable losses. Medical expenses, lost wages from the time you missed at work, and vehicle damage are all types of compensable losses.

At Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, we highly recommend hiring a knowledgeable car accident attorney to help you determine fault and demonstrate liability. An attorney will have the necessary resources to gather evidence to back up your version of events, such as photos, private surveillance video, traffic camera footage, information from the police report, witness statements, cell phone records, and more.

Even if your case seems clear-cut, proving liability can be challenging, especially if the driver who hit you or their insurance company tries to shift blame to you. North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state, which means that if you are even 1 percent at fault for the accident, you will be barred from pursuing compensation. That’s why it is vital to hire a reckless driving lawyer to help you prove your case.

Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Today

Were you injured in a reckless driving crash in North Carolina? The seasoned reckless driving accident attorneys at Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, can provide you with the knowledgeable and assertive representation you need.

We have extensive experience representing car accident victims, and we are prepared to work tirelessly to help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Contact the experts at Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, for a free consultation to get started on your claim today.